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Alonso loves Mexico but challenges lie ahead

©McLaren

Fernando Alonso expects to have a big challenge on his hands in Mexico City as the McLaren driver deals with a grid penalty and the venue's inherent difficulties.

The Spaniard retired from the US GP while running in the points once again following another engine failure. The DNF will unfortunately put the McLaren driver at the back of the grid next Sunday as Honda's undertakes another power unit change.

"It will surely be a challenging weekend for us as I’m expecting to start from the back of the grid due to the engine issue we had in Austin," said Alonso in the team's race preview.

"It’s also a track where we often struggle with traffic, which makes overtaking difficult.

"But, on the positive side, we tested a lot of new components on Friday in the USA which we were very happy with, and we hope to take those forward to use in Mexico."

Indeed, Alonso could be the recipient of Honda's latest updated unit which was allocated to Stoffel Vandoorne in Austin.

"Yes, I think [we will get a penalty] so it would be better to introduce a new engine in Mexico," said Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa.

Despite the upcoming challenges, Alonso is happy to return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and to a city which remains close to his heart following its recent tragedies.

"It’s very important that we head to Mexico with everybody in our thoughts that has been affected by the recent earthquake, and show them as much support as we possibly can at this really difficult time," said the two-time world champion.

"The welcome we receive in Mexico City is among the best in the world – you can really feel the warmth of the fans all around the circuit, especially in the arena section, and the support is unbelievable.

"For me, it’s nice to be able to arrive in a country, travel to the hotel and check in using my own language!

"But seriously, I love Mexico and the Mexican people, and I hope we can put on the show they deserve.

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